A true leader does not follow trends, he initiates them.
Dj Das, CEO, Third Eye Consulting Services and Solutions personifies this fact. Armed with strong foresight that Big Data technologies would be the next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity, he took up the charge to fuel the Big Data fire in the tech world. The world took some time but finally came up to speed with Dj’s strong belief in Big Data technologies being the future. Today he is a known evangelist for Big Data; runs a much followed meetup & blog named BigDataCloud, (a not for profit organization for evangelizing & training around Big Data) and overlooks the Big Data consultancy, products and training services offered by Third Eye Consulting Services & Solutions LLC, headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. He is a multitasker by choice and a contrarian by chance.
A decade before beginning Third Eye, Dj’s career in the US began with working on the design and development of the core functionalities of MS Works 95, the first Windows 95 based product of Microsoft. After Microsoft, he worked for Siebel Systems developing new products that made $100+ million in revenues. In 2000, Dj set foot into the VC ship and started his own investment firm in the form of Das Capital, an early stage tech funding VC firm. In 2003 he, through Cambrian Ventures, made a very early stage investment in Aster Data, a Big Data Analytics database company. It was one of the earliest databases that had massively parallel processing data architectures. “I got the opportunity to realize the uniqueness of this product, coming from a software development background helped me to understand that products like this can be the solution for the impending data tsunami that would engulf the world in the very near future. So that is how I was hooked onto the Big Data phenomena,” says Dj.
Inspired by the Big Data phenomenon, the tech evangelist started his first venture towards building apps and platforms for software firms in February 2003. One specific product designed by Dj strongly mimicked today’s Google’s online offerings, a good 13 years ago. Such was the expertise that Dj possessed in the field. Through continuous processes of trial and error and after conquering the shores of a VC, marketing expert, senior level technologist and a CEO, Dj has come a long way since Zytes, a product development shop which was his first entrepreneurial mission.
Being an Entrepreneur and a VC
Armed with just a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, India, and not having any particularly strong alumni, professional or personal network, – there were a few unsuccessful seasons to start with. However, these taught Dj his first big lesson of being an entrepreneur, to sell first and build later. Working on a business case that has confirmed buyers is always the first step in being an entrepreneur.
Dj kept working in the same area for a few years until he had the opportunity to serve as Vice President of Business Development at LG CNS America. The position was in line with what he was working on in the Big Data space. Dj was responsible for getting the first dollar in and closing prominent deals. This helped him considerably in growing his clientele base for the future.
“Realizing that for providing Big Data based consulting services, there is a need of local technical gurus who can be supported by an offshore team for best cost-effective results, I started Third Eye in early 2009 with the motto of ‘Local Touch, Global Reach’ and focused solely on providing Big Data centric consulting services,” adds Dj. The company, under the leadership of Dj, has come a long way today since its initial work around Big Data providing Aster Data implementation services.
Leveraging the Hadoop Phenomena
During this time, Apache Hadoop, an open-source software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications, was gaining traction in the industry. Dj was quick to realize the huge opportunity in Hadoop and aggressively began consultancy services in the same. The services were an instant success. Many of the clients complained about a serious shortage of Hadoop experts in the area. Most of the locally available talent were being consumed by the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest were seriously handicapped with a deep shortage of talent. To address this issue, Dj took it upon himself to start providing state of the art training classes around Hadoop & other Big Data technologies through Third Eye. The company trained and placed students as fully qualified professionals in many of the companies looking for such Big Data talents.
Under Dj’s exceptional leadership, Third Eye has been able to deploy successful Big Data services to clients across the US because of their unique differentiation of being a “watering-hole” for all things Big Data.
From CEO to Evangelist
Even as the concept of Big Data as a disruptive phenomenon was gaining momentum, the level of awareness & knowledge of Big Data among the general public was dismal. Dj heard in one conference after another, the term “Big Data” being thrown around without anyone really knowing or understanding it nor realizing its true powers. This scenario prompted him, in June 2011 to invite a host of individuals to his office conference room for a Big Data meetup named “Big Data Cloud”; the response was overwhelming and ended up with invitees not finding enough space to move about.
He leveraged this interest in Big Data and took on the role of a Tech evangelist in the form of BigDataCloud.com, a meetup group and a portal designed to take Big data & Cloud Computing out of the ‘buzz’ realm and place it firmly in the ‘evolutionary technology’ realm. Dj’s main mission with the blog was to help, educate and de-mystify these technologies to businesses, professionals and individuals. Today, the meetup group and portal has around 2600+ active members who attend its monthly meet-ups and biannual events. Under Dj’s sound leadership, curatorship and organization skills, BigDataCloud has become the single most popular society for all things Big Data.
Hence Dj serves as the perfect evangelist example to help the tech society become aware of new technologies in Big Data.
He feels that for an Entrepreneur to be successful it is necessary to have a good sounding board,(which he had in his wife), to not be afraid of taking on risks and mainly to truly believe in his/her dream. For Dj, an entrepreneur is a person who can envision a million dollar art work on a plain canvas of paper, and the CEO of Third Eye has already accomplished a few masterpieces along his glorious and unique entrepreneurial journey.